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Japan, Australian Stock Futures Rise Before BOJ Decision

Japanese and Australian stock futures rose as investors awaited to see if the Bank of Japan will provide additional stimulus to support the economy.

American Depository Receipts of Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. rose, indicating carmakers may recover some of yesterday’s losses amid violent protests in China targeting Japanese companies following a dispute over control of a group of islands. Shares of Japan Airlines Co. may be active as it begins trading on the Tokyo stock exchange today following the largest initial public offering since Facebook Inc.

Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average expiring in December closed at 9,105 in Chicago yesterday, up from 9,070 in Osaka, Japan. They were bid in the pre-market at 9,120 in Osaka at 8:05 a.m. local time. Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.2 percent today. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index was little changed in Wellington.

“We will see sustainable global growth at some stage as long as central banks don’t give up,” said Nader Naeimi, Sydney-based head of dynamic asset allocation at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., which manages almost $100 billion. “You have to avoid deflation and risk having inflation until we embark on sustained growth.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 8.1 percent this year through yesterday compared with a 16 percent gain on the S&P 500 and a 12 percent advance for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index amid speculation central banks will step up measures to promote global economic growth. The Asian benchmark traded at 12.8 times estimated earnings compared with 14.1 for the S&P 500 and 12.1 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.

U.S. Futures

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.1 percent today. Most stocks on the S&P 500 fell yesterday as FedEx Corp. slumped and concern grew that European leaders will struggle to resolve the region’s debt crisis.

Sixteen of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News say the BOJ will ease policy by October, with five expecting a move at today’s meeting. Easing by the BOJ, which ends a two-day meeting today, has so far failed to turn around a decade of falling prices that weighs on growth. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has joined the deflation fight, pledging to beat it within a year as he faces party elections on Sept. 21.

Concern that risks to the economy are growing may prompt the BOJ to take action today rather than wait until next month, the Nikkei newspaper reported, without citing anyone.

Japan’s three biggest carmakers -- Toyota, Nissan and Honda -- have halted production at Chinese plants amid attacks on their dealerships in the eastern Chinese port city of Qingdao. Officials at Suzuki, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. said they’re also assessing the situation in China.

China Protests

Automakers have been among the hardest hit Japanese companies in the diplomatic crisis. The dispute puts at risk bilateral trade in goods ranging from rice to tractors that has tripled in the past decade to more than $340 billion. The tensions also further complicate policy makers’ efforts to fortify growth in Asia’s biggest economies as the European debt crisis saps demand for exports.

Japan Airlines rose as high as 4,170 yen in the gray market compared with its 3,790 yen IPO price, BTIG Hong Kong Ltd. said yesterday. That’s a 10 percent jump and enough to raise the carrier’s market value to $9.3 billion, second in Asia behind Singapore Airlines Ltd., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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